From last one year blue sheep species dying due to eye infection leading to blindness in Himalayan region of Uttarakhand India . Himalayan Blue sheep, known as Naur in Nepali in Nepal and Bharal in Hindi in India. Himalayan Blue sheep is a high mountain sheep which survives from 3500 meter to 6000 meter. Bluesheep have short and dense hair. Distinctive physical features are labeled on the pictures below.
A Indian Border Security Force (BSF) team first reported that blue sheep, known locally as Bharal, were losing their eyesight in a grotesque manner at Gangotri National Park (GNP), Uttarakhand. The Gangotri National Park is spread over 2,390 sq km and ranges at an altitude of 2,800 to 7,100 meters above sea level. The team spotted sheep with eyes protruded and bleeding while some had empty sockets in place of their eyes. Two sheep were found dead in the area while in another instance, a blind lamb had fallen into a pit and its mother, also blind, was standing helplessly next to it. According to park authorities an infected baby blue sheep rescued to Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) at Bareilly where during treatment he died. According to IVRI scientist this eyes infection in the species might have happened due to some virus in brain. Scientist did not deny from possibility that disease could be spreading through oral/fecal or air borne mediums and spread in other wild animals and predator species such as snow leopard, critically endangered animal of Higher Himalayas. But till date IVRI did not sure about the cause and type of infection.
Source: timesofindia, hindustantimes.com